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Article Archives: Articles: Mines and Mineral Resources
Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
Find in Greece
In clearing away the refuse from the ancient silver mines of Laurium, in Greece, a large number of seeds were found, unknown to modern science, but described in the writings of Pliny. The seeds took root, budded and blossomed, bearing beautiful yellow flowers, after a burial of at least 1500 years.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 26, 1875
An exploring party
An exploring party from St. Paul reports the discovery of an iron mountain rivaling the celebrated mountain of that name in Missouri, 60 miles north of Duluth. The mountain is described as 8 miles long and 1 1/2 miles wide, 1200 ft. above the level of Lake Superior. A party has now gone to make a thorough scientific examination; and if their report is favorable, it is understood a number of Eastern capitalists will begin to develop the work at once. [It became Mountain Iron, Minnesota http://www.ironrange.org/communities/mt-iron/ ]
Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 26, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items
Spencer B. Root and Frank J. Pratt leave town today for a 6 or 8 weeks' "roughing it" in the Rocky Mountains west of Colorado. They leave the Pacific Railroad at Denver, and with pack mules follow a trail into the Indian country. [Ah, this link shows that both Root and Pratt were buying up mining land, and their descendants are still profiting from it to this day! See http://www.ewg.org/m...w.php?cust_id=365923 ].
Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 19, 1875
News of the week
A current of terribly hot air passed over Centralia, Ill. recently, which drove workmen from the fields, and people rushed from their houses, supposing they were on fire. [ I don't know - coal mining since its incorporation as a town, a great disaster in the mines in 1947 when 111 miners died - and of course its counterpart in weirdness, Centralia, PA. Check it out at Wikipedia].
Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 5, 1875
Brief notes of a pleasant excursion
The Massachusetts Press Association left Boston on the morning of June 23, for their annual excursion. The party, including ladies, numbered almost 90...On this excursion two first class cars and a smoking car on the Boston & Albany road were devoted to the exclusive use of the excursionists...The sandwiches, cakes, etc. were neatly packed in pasteboard boxes for each individual, and were liberally accompanied with iced lemonade.
At Albany...there was a change to the fine cars of the New York Central Railroad, and we were soon steaming with almost lightning rapidity through the beautiful Mohawk Valley. The flat farm lands here are of an unsurpassing fertility. There does not appear to be an acre that is not under cultivation....The Mohawk runs parallel with the road for many miles, and on the opposite side of the river is the Erie Canal. The latter, which has been one of the great institutions of the Empire State for many years, appears to New Englanders to be a rather slow method of transportation. The canal boats, which we pass in quick succession, seem hardly to move, so snail like is the progress which they make, but what is lost in time is saved in expense. If it was not for the Erie our coal and grain would never approach the present low prices, and upon it has depended largely the wealth and development of the great Western States.
But...the day was fearfully hot, and our excursion cars were in the rear of a very large train; and the dust and cinders that poured into the windows soon blackened our faces, filled our eyes and ears, so that when we reached Syracuse about 8 o’clock in the eve., after a ride of 350 miles, we were a sad looking set, more like a band of miners from the coal region, than people who patronized soap and water. We were, however, nicely quartered at the Globe and Vanderbilt hotels and through the transforming influences of the bath, clean linen, and a good supper, were soon ourselves again.
The party left Syracuse soon after 6 the next morning, by the Auburn branch of the New York Central. At Auburn we got the chance to see the extensive buildings of the State Penitentiary, but did not stop for a close inspection of the establishment. A short ride brought us to the wharf at Cayuga, where we embarked on a small steamer for a delightful trip of 38 miles through Cayuga Lake...
With song and mirth the happy excursionists were soon on the top wave of enjoyment. At Goodwin’s Point a landing was made and the party visited Taghkanic Falls To reach the Falls we climbed a steep descent of a mile, under a broiling sun, and were hardly, when we reached the summit, in the most favorable mood to fully appreciate this wild freak of nature. These falls are on a small stream, and 215 ft. in perpendicular height, while the rocky gorge is nearly 400 ft. down.
It is a wild and picturesque spot, but at this season there is not a large flow of water over the fall. A hotel has been built upon the summit, within a stone’s throw of the fall, and it is quite a resort for excursionists and picnic parties.... Afterwards we landed at the beautiful town of Ithaca, at the head of the lake. the principal business here is apparently the transferment of coal. The coal is brought by rail from the mines in Pennsylvania and transshipped to the canal boats, which convey it across the lake and thence through the canal to the Eastern markets. Our quarters were at the Ithaca Hotel, a first class house...After a sumptuous dinner, carriages were provided for a visit to Cornell University.
The college buildings occupy a beautiful site overlooking the lake, and can be seen miles away...The college was opened in 1868, and everything about the premises is neat and new...The founder of the college, Ezra Cornell, Esq. endowed the institution with more than three millions of dollars...Our party assembled in the Library of the college, and were addressed by President White...It was the purpose of Mr. Cornell to found a university where any person could find instruction in any study, and well has his purpose been carried out. It recognizes no distinct religious belief, though its aim is to promote Christian civilization...
Upon the grounds an opportunity is afforded, as at our Agricultural College, for the practical study of agriculture. There is a carpenter shop, furnished with power and machinery, where students who have tastes in that direction can cultivate their skill in wood work. A large machine shop is fitted with lathes and a variety of machinery and tools, and we found here a dozen or more young men hard at work with sleeves rolled up, dressed in colored shirts an overalls, hands and faces begrimmed, just like "greasy mechanics".
Several valuable inventions have been made in this shop, and much of this work is put to a practical use. In the same building is a printing shop with a large assortment of type and presses...Cornell University recognizes the co-education of the sexes. Young ladies are admitted on the same footing as young men, and are advanced through the same studies...the young men, who at other colleges have been accustomed to practices that were vulgar and demoralizing have voluntarily given them up since the admission of the young ladies, and so far from the mingling of the sexes leading to unpleasant talk and scandal, as some had predicted, not a breath of suspicion of anything out of character had ever existed...
Before leaving the college grounds we were driven to Fall Creek Gorge a wild, romantic locality, where the waters of a small stream leap and splash over the rocks of a wild ravine in its mad course to the lake below. We left Ithaca at 7 in the eve. over the Utica, Ithaca and Elmira Railroad, the President of which is Gen. W.I. Burt, the Postmaster of Boston. General Burt had accompanied our party, and we were indebted to his kind attention and influence for many courtesies. On this road we pass through Elmira, and about 10 o’clock at night, in the midst of a drenching rain, arrived at the town of Watkins at the head of Seneca Lake. After a little confusion we were provided with carriages and driven through the pitchlike darkness up the steep ascent to the Glen Mountain House [See the NYPL Digital Gallery for great photos], which has been erected above the famous Watkins Glen.
There is no natural wonder on the American continent, with the exception perhaps, of Niagara Falls, that surpasses the Glen...Says Bayard Taylor: "In all my travels I have never met with scenery more beautiful and romantic than that embraced in this wonderful Glen, and the most remarkable thing of all is that so much magnificence and grandeur should be found in a region where there are no ranges of mountains...It is only since 1869 that the Glen has been accessible to the public...[A very large section follows about the Glen and its hotels. To be continued next week].
Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 21, 1875
The geology of Whitingham may yet serve to us an attraction, and a visit at some future day, among its boulders, to its gold and silver mine, may compensate for all our pleasure in the forthcoming future. Our greatest boulder measures 43 ft. in length, and 30 in height and width, or 40,000 cubic ft. in bulk, and was probably transported across Deerfield Valley, the bottom of which is 500 ft. below the spot where it lies.
/ There is also another one not quite as large on the farm of Mr. Thomas Fowler, 40 ft. in length, and [?] in height, 5 in width, shaped like an anvil, and for some unknown cause is called the "Devil's Anvil", also there are many others around of every shape and size, probably drifted from the higher latitudes to these lower, from some convulsion of nature. There can also be seen perpendicular precipices from 20 to 30 ft. in height and would well pay one for an hour's visit to this farm, situated one mile west from Jacksonville.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 14, 1875
Elisha Wells started for Colorado Thurs. to attend to his lawsuit with the McClellan brothers of that territory, concerning a bogus silver claim which the latter sold to the Federal Mining Company 10 years ago.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 24, 1875
News of the week
A nugget of copper, 28 per cent pure ore, weighing 6000 pounds, is on exhibit at St. Louis. It came from the Lake Superior region, where it was taken from an ancient digging. The mass, when found, had evidently been detached from its bed by ancient miners, whose stone hammers, in great numbers, were found in the mine. . [See Google Books "The Science record", 1876, p. 65, for more particulars on this boulder].
Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 17, 1875
The Whitingham silver mines are attracting wide attention for their abundance of wealth, and parties are already on the road from California to explore its inexhaustible riches [Well, I certainly think this is a joke!].
Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 10, 1875
There are eight metals more valuable than gold
Indium, vandium, ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, uranium, somium and iridium. None of them are found in quantity, nor are they useful in the arts like gold and silver; indium and vanadium are 8 times more valuable than gold. [I think uranium is going to surprise them].
Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 10, 1875
News of the week
A riot occurred at the Moshannon mines, near Osceola, Clearfield County, Pa. Sat. and two officers were shot. There are no signs of yielding, yet, on the part of the miners or the operators, and the indications now are that the strike will last 3 or 4 months longer, at the least. [See the Coal Miners Memorial, Moshannon Mine at http:/
Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 10, 1875
Letter from New Mexico
We give below the main portions of a letter from Fred W. Eals, residing in Laguna, New Mexico, to James C. Pratt of Deerfield, Mass. Mr. Eals has lived in New Mexico for several years, and has been in the employ of government as surveyor. He is son of the late Dr. George E. Eals of Ohio, and his mother, Mrs. Lucretia Eals, now resides in Deerfield. "This territory is at present undergoing a change for the better. Hitherto the Mexicans have had their own way in such matters as might be in dispute between themselves and the "American" or English speaking people; and it is needless to say they were always cleared, no matter how unjustly or illegally they acted. Hence the territory has not been developed to the extent that neighboring territories have. It has always been said by men who have investigated the subject, that New Mexico, by reason of the geographical location, is adapted to the production of such grains as belong to the North as well as to the South, and such is the fact.
/ Nearly the whole of New Mexico is available for grazing, whether of cattle or sheep, and immense tracts, well watered, are awaiting the herds, which will prove an exceedingly profitable investment for those who come early. Last year a large number of Californians came here for the purpose of looking up sheep ranges, and I have given several of them information relative to the sections I have been over while surveying. You can decipher from the above that I think very favorably of the chances for a man desirous to succeed.
/ The Mexicans are not a difficult people to get along with, provided that you do not meddle with their religion and other prejudices. They must not be flattered or petted. The Alcaldes and prominent Dons require a show of deference. The lower classes must be ruled. It is also necessary to only wink at some of their habits, which are exceedingly repulsive. They are susceptible of becoming strongly attached to an "American" and in such cases, invariably stick like grim death. Their language is readily acquired.
/ The Indians are not, in the main, troublesome. The tribes under government contribution are confined ordinarily to the West. Pueblo Indians are quiet and orderly, and are decidedly more successful in farming than their neighbors, the Mexicans. In fact, I consider them a better class of people.
/ The mineral resources of the territory are not inferior to those of any part of the Union. The gold and silver regions in the eastern portion are generally in the hands of wealthy companies. Those in the west await the hardy and experienced prospectors, and will not be very valuable until the population is sufficient to keep the Indians quiet.
/ Stock raising and trading are sure sources of great profit. Labor is cheap, being from 25 cents per day to from 15 to 20 dollars per month and board. The price of cattle is about $8 dollars per head, although in some cases they have been bought as low as $4. Sheep, $1.50 per head, cheaper farther south. Herders (boys) can be had for $10 per month. The increase is very rapid.
/ A good ranch can be taken, or desirable location purchased of the natives for from $25 to $200. Government posts are numerous, and a ranch man or trader can always dispose of his stock or grain to good advantage. If possible, I will procure a speech by Hon. S.B. Elkins (delegate) and forward to you. Now, my dear Sir, if any of your friends think of coming West, New Mexico is the place to settle in. Please favor me with a reply. Address Laguna, via Albuquerque. Yours respectfully, Fred W. Eals".
Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 19, 1875
The first party of miners who successfully invaded the Black Hills several months ago
The first party of miners who successfully invaded the Black Hills several months ago, have been overtaken by the United States cavalry and have been brought back to Fort Laramie. The party when taken comprised 16 men, one woman and a boy.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 12, 1875
The New York Times says that it is estimated that the strike of the Pittsburgh puddlers, some 1000 in number, compelled the idleness of nearly 20,000 laborers, and produced a loss of the business of some $10,000,000. The strike in the coal mines along the Reading railroad is quite as remarkable for its disastrous effects...(An excellent overview of the Puddlers is available online "The battle for Homestead, 1880-1892: politics, culture, and steel" in Google books. I wasn't able to locate the particular article in the New York Times that this article mentions).
Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 22, 1875
News of the week
The workers at the Lanesboro ore beds struck for higher wages the other day, and the works have been closed. They have been kept in operation during the winter rather than deprive the men of employment. (Always on the side of Big Business).
Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 8, 1875
A difficult job on the Hoosac Tunnel done
The last work involving especial danger upon the Hoosac mountain, namely the clearing of the central shaft, was brought to a successful issue Tues. night, and 45 picked workmen who have been employed upon it, with engineer E.A. Bond http://www.naplibrary.com/HT_manuscripts.html are congratulating themselves that no accident has marred its progress. The work has been under the charge of Mr. Bond, a bright young fellow of say 23 years, son of Austin Bond http://www.berkshire...rthadams/na/057.html of North Adams, and the assistant of Carl O. Wederkinch http://tinyurl.com/5vt3b7 in sinking the shaft, who alone has planned and conducted its reopening.
/ The shaft, it will be remembered, is 1080 feet deep, and in excavating it, floors were put in once in 18 feet, and these floors with their heavy supporting timbers, have now been taken out, one by one, from the bottom up. To enable the miners to cut away these timbers, a movable platform, as has already been described, was constructed to fill the shaft being suspended from the top by a wire rope cable and secured by several independent fastenings, each capable of supporting the platform, thus rendering it doubly secure.
/ In place of the cage was introduced one of the old buckets used in digging the shaft to bring up the stone, to remove the debris and dislodged rock. And so carefully, a step of 18 feet at a time, have the slippery, treacherous timbers been lifted out, together with 112 yards of loose stone, near the top of the shaft, some of these last hanging pieces, weighing 5 or 6 tons, and all without any blasting. Brickwork was put in to secure a soft vein of rock near the top, the platform was lifted out Tuesday morning, and Wednesday the shaft was one clear deep hole, without timber or rock that can ever fall into the tunnel.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 22, 1875
Where they come from
Where they come from - by Olive Thorne [the pen name of http://www.harpers.org/NightMonkey.html Harriet Mann Miller ]. You’ll be shocked, I fear, when I tell you that your doll came out of a rag bag; her curls from the back of a goat, and her elegant china tea set out of a small hole. But what will you say when I tell you that your http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC3180.htm jelly is made out of old boots, and your delightful perfumery from horrid smelling coal tars. You don’t own all the made over things in the family, either.
Johnny’s new http://www.bharattextile.com/dictionary/66 beaver cloth overcoat was worn out on the back of a beggar, and perhaps even played the part of a scarecrow in some farmyard, before it went into the rag bag and began to come up in the world again; and the http://www.adrynight...20Physiology129.html "Table Gelatin" which everyone in the family likes to eat, once did duty as skin on the back of a rat. The pearl of your paper knife lined the shell house of a modest little creature at the bottom of the sea, while mamma’s shell comb was the comfortable roof over a Sea Tortoise.
Your guitar strings were indispensable to the internal comfort of some poor pussy or unfortunate sheep, and your piano would be but a dumb wooden box, without some of the same internal arrangements of a horse. Your nice hair brush first saw the light on the skin of a hog, and its pretty back of papier mache came out of the ragman’s bag. The crinoline that stiffens the bottoms of ladies’ dresses was used originally to switch the flies from the back of a horse, and the mattress on which you sleep so comfortably served the same use before it fell into the manufacturer’s hands.
Your dainty toilet soap - dear me, how can I tell you! - was made of dead cats and dogs, found in the streets, and the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almond "bitter almonds" which so delightfully flavors your candy came from the horrible smelling coal tar, while the choicest are as deliciously flavored with -- putrid cheese. The scent hairs of that offensive creature, the skunk, furnish some desirable additions to the toilet table, used for removing freckles and tan, and the dreadful stuff left in drains is changed into a fashionable toilet article, and adorns the face of ladies. To be sure these disagreeable materials have some pretty rough handling before they come out in their new colors. The old boots, for instance. They do not step from the gutter into the jelly kettle by any means. They go through a long process of washing and soaking in lye and smoking with sulphur, and steaming and boiling, before they come out white and delicate, and fit for the table. T
he coal tar to grow into perfumery goes through the hands of chemists, who treat it with I don’t know what dreadful chemical processes, and the dead dogs and cats are boiled to extract the grease, purified, whitened and perfumed before we use them as a soap. The doll whose ancestors inhabited a rag man’s den endured unheard of operations of washing, soaking, bleaching, chopping, molding, and so forth, before she took her place in the nursery to amuse the little folks, and the clay from the mud hole was washed and patted and whitened and kneaded, and baked and glazed before it ventured to call itself china, and take its place on the tea table.
The horse tails that stiffen the dresses and stuff our mattresses are washed, and soaked, and boiled and baked before we use them, and the intestines which make the voice of guitar and piano went through long processes of scraping, soaking in lye, and washing, before they were drawn out into the fine, tough strings you are familiar with. The rat skin which we eat under the name of gelatin first flourished as the thumb of a kid glove, and after being worn out in that capacity went through ever so many purifying processes, somewhat as the old boots did, before it ended on our table.
Nearly all the things that we throw away in [?] or even in our drains - the most disgusting things you can think of - are valuable, and after going through the hands of skilled workmen, come out in new shapes and have new fields of usefulness. The feats of old fashioned fairies, who turned pumpkins into carriages, and shabby old gowns into elegant robes, do not compare with these wonders performed in our work shops by rough looking men in shirt sleeves and white aprons.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 15, 1875
The mound builders
The http://www.factmonster.com/ce6/sci/A0834239.html mound builders - After the last mammoth was slain, it is very probable that many centuries passed before the http://www.harvestfi...Links/02/Chap10.html mound builders came to occupy the soil where these animals had been. The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mound_Builders mound builders were a race of men who never saw the mammoth at play [or they would have] carved or painted his likeness, as they did those of the birds and beasts they knew...Unfortunately we do not know what they looked like, and as they wrote no books we do not know what language they spoke. All that we know of them is from the wonderful works of industry and skill that they left behind, and especially from certain great mounds of earth they built. It is from the great works that they derive their name. One of the most remarkable of these mounds is to be seen in Adams County, Ohio. It represents an immense snake a thousand feet long and 5 ft. thick, laying along a bluff that rises above a stream. There you can trace all the curves and outlines of the [?] and a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpent_Mound tail with a triple coil...Sometimes they are shaped like animals, sometimes like men...In other places there are many small mounds, arranged in a straight line, at distances nearly equal, and extending for many miles. These are supposed to have been used for sending signals from station to station across the country. Then in other places there are signal mounds, sometimes 60 ft. high, sometimes 90, with steps leading up to the top, which is flat, and sometimes includes from 1 to 5 acres of ground. These mounds are scattered all down the valley of the Mississippi, and along many of the tributary streams. There are thousands of them, large or small, within the single state of Ohio. They are not made of earth alone, for some of them show brick work and stone work here and there, though earth is always the chief material. Some of them have chambers within, and the remains of wooden walls, and sometimes charred wood is found on top, as if fires had been kindled there...In Central America there are similar mounds, except that those have on their tops the remians of stone temples and palaces. So it is supposed that the higher mounds of the Mississippi Valley may have been built for purposes of worship, and that although their summits are now bare, yet the charred wood may be the remains of sacrificial fires, or of wooden temples that were burned long ago. It is certain that these mound builders were in some ways well advanced in civilization. All their earth works show more or less of engineering skill. They vary greatly in shape; they show the square, the circle, the octagon, the ellipse, and sometimes all these figures are combined in one series of works. But the circle is always a true circle and the square a true square; and moreover there are many squares that measure exactly 1080 ft. on a side, and this shows that the mound builders had some definite standard of measurement. There have been found in these temples many tools and ornaments, made of copper, silver and valuable stones. There are axes, chisels, knives, bracelets and beads; there are pieces of thread and of cloth, and gracefully ornamented vases of pottery. The mound builders know how to model in clay a variety of objects, such as birds, quadrapeds and human faces. They practiced farming, though they had no domestic animals to help them. They had neither horses nor oxen nor carts, so that all the vast amount of earth required for these mounds must have been carried in baskets or skins; and this shows that their population must have been very numerous or they never could have attempted so much. They mined for copper near Lake Superior, where their deserted mines may still be seen. In one of these mines there is a mass of copper weighing nearly 6 tons, partly raised form the bottom, and supported on wooden legs, now nearly decayed. It was evidently being removed to the top of the mine, nearly 30 ft. above, and the stone and copper tools of the miners were found lying about, as if the men had just gone away. Now when did this race of ancient mound builders live? There is not a line of their writing left, so far as it is known; nor is any distinct tradition about them. But there is one sure proof that they lived very long ago. At the mouth of this very mine just described there are trees nearly 400 years old, growing on earth that was thrown out in digging the mines. Of course the mine is older than the trees. On a mound at Marietta, Ohio, there are trees 800 years old. The mounds must, of course, be as old as that, and nobody knows how much older. It is very probable that this mysterious race may have built these great works more than a thousand years ago. It is very natural to ask whether the mound builders were the ancestors of the present American Indians. It does not seem at all likely that they were, because the habits of the two races were so very different. Most Indian tribes show nothing of the skill and industry required for these great works. The only native tribes that seem to have a civilization of their own are a certain race called Pueblo Indians (meaning village Indians) in New Mexico. These tribes live in vast stone buildings, holding sometimes as many as 5000 people. These buildings are usually placed on the summit of hills, and have walls so high as only to be reached by ladders. The Pueblo Indians dress nicely, live in families, practice various arts, and are utterly different from the roving tribes farther north. But after all, the style of building of even the Pueblo Indians are wholly unlike anything we know of the mound builders; for the mound builders do not seem to have erected stone buildings, nor do the Pueblo Indians build lofty mounds. Perhaps this singular people will always remain a mystery. They may have come from Asia, or have been the descendents of Asiatics accidentally cast on the American shore. Within the last 100 years, no less than 15 Japanese vessels have been driven across the Pacific Ocean by storms and wrecked on the Pacific coast of North America, and this may have happened as easily a thousand years ago as a hundred. It is certain that some men among the mound builders had reached the sea in their travels, for on some of their carved pipes there are representations of the seal and of the manati, or sea cow - animals to which they could only have seen by traveling very far to the east or west, or else by descending the Mississippi River to its mouth. But we know neither whence they came nor whither they went. Very few human bones have been found among the mounds; and those found had almoost crumbled into dust. We only know that the mound builders came and built wonderful works, and then made way for another race, of whose origin we know almost as little (Young Folks' History of the United States).